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Sustainable Consumption Governance: A History of Promises and Failures

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  • Doris Fuchs
  • Sylvia Lorek

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Abstract

What are the implications of the current international political, and economic settings for consumer policy, and, in particular, those regarding sustainable consumption? In terms of improvements in the efficiency of consumption, the settings have induced efforts to this effect and show potential for further progress. In terms of necessary changes in consumption levels and patterns, however, little progress has been made since the Rio Summit nor is there likely to be any in the near future. These two dimensions of sustainable consumption need to be differentiated, as there is a substantial amount of controversy regarding our ability to achieve sustainable consumption on the basis of improvements in efficiency alone. The paper traces these differences with respect to the work of the major international governmental organizations (IGOs) engaged in developing sustainable consumption governance. It argues that the lack of commitment to strong sustainable consumption among IGOs can be explained by their “weakness” as actors in global governance and the existence of strong opposing interests among consumers and business actors. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Doris Fuchs & Sylvia Lorek, 2005. "Sustainable Consumption Governance: A History of Promises and Failures," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 261-288, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:28:y:2005:i:3:p:261-288
    DOI: 10.1007/s10603-005-8490-z
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Annukka Berg, 2011. "Not Roadmaps but Toolboxes: Analysing Pioneering National Programmes for Sustainable Consumption and Production," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 9-23, March.
    2. repec:elg:eechap:15612_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nathalie Lazaric & Vanessa Oltra, 2012. "Sustainable Consumption in an Evolutionary Framework: How to Foster Behavioural Change?," Chapters,in: Crisis, Innovation and Sustainable Development, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. repec:kap:jcopol:v:41:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10603-017-9363-y is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Patrick Schroeder & Manisha Anantharaman, 2017. "“Lifestyle Leapfrogging” in Emerging Economies: Enabling Systemic Shifts to Sustainable Consumption," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 3-23, March.
    6. Mert Bilgin, 2012. "The PEARL Model of Sustainable Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 19-35, May.
    7. Toke Christensen & Mirjam Godskesen & Kirsten Gram-Hanssen & Maj-Britt Quitzau & Inge Røpke, 2007. "Greening the Danes? Experience with consumption and environment policies," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 91-116, June.
    8. Mario Cogoy, 2010. "Consumption, time and the environment," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 459-477, December.
    9. Sodano, Valeria & Verneau, Fabio, 1. "The Many Faces Of Food Sustainability: The Obesity Issue," Politica Agricola Internazionale - International Agricultural Policy, Edizioni L’Informatore Agrario, issue 1.
    10. Josephine Mylan & Helen Holmes & Jessica Paddock, 2016. "Re-Introducing Consumption to the ‘Circular Economy’: A Sociotechnical Analysis of Domestic Food Provisioning," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(8), pages 1-14, August.
    11. Jessica Pape & Henrike Rau & Frances Fahy & Anna Davies, 2011. "Developing Policies and Instruments for Sustainable Household Consumption: Irish Experiences and Futures," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 25-42, March.
    12. Gupta, Suraksha & Kumar, V., 2013. "Sustainability as corporate culture of a brand for superior performance," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 311-320.
    13. Carsten Gandenberger & Heiko Garrelts & Diana Wehlau, 2011. "Assessing the Effects of Certification Networks on Sustainable Production and Consumption: The Cases of FLO and FSC," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 107-126, March.
    14. Maria Csutora, 2012. "One More Awareness Gap? The Behaviour–Impact Gap Problem," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 145-163, March.
    15. Sebastian Koos, 2011. "Varieties of Environmental Labelling, Market Structures, and Sustainable Consumption Across Europe: A Comparative Analysis of Organizational and Market Supply Determinants of Environmental-Labelled Go," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 127-151, March.
    16. Annu Markkula & Johanna Moisander, 2012. "Discursive Confusion over Sustainable Consumption: A Discursive Perspective on the Perplexity of Marketplace Knowledge," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 105-125, March.
    17. Eva Heiskanen & Oksana Mont & Kate Power, 2014. "A Map Is Not a Territory—Making Research More Helpful for Sustainable Consumption Policy," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 27-44, March.
    18. Mari Niva & Johanna Mäkelä & Nina Kahma & Unni Kjærnes, 2014. "Eating Sustainably? Practices and Background Factors of Ecological Food Consumption in Four Nordic Countries," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 465-484, December.
    19. Anne Marchand & Stuart Walker & Tim Cooper, 2010. "Beyond Abundance: Self-Interest Motives for Sustainable Consumption in Relation to Product Perception and Preferences," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(5), pages 1-17, May.
    20. Stefan Wahlen & Eva Heiskanen & Kristiina Aalto, 2012. "Endorsing Sustainable Food Consumption: Prospects from Public Catering," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 7-21, March.

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